Grower Labour Hire Obligations


The employment of casual labour on farm is again in the media, especially with the onset of harvest.. Whilst the current media articles are regarding the Mildura area it is pertinent to remind growers of their responsibilities as the same situation applies to the GV region.


Growers employing casual staff directly must pay the correct rates. FGVL financial members can use the rates supplied to them as the FGVL Industrial Committee have calculated these rates and have the necessary documentation to support this. However, you must have a signed piecework agreement with your employees. FGVL produced this document which was forwarded to financial members with the wage rates.

Growers using contractor supplied employment also need to be aware that this does not automatically absolve responsibility as an employer. Work carried out on your property is still your responsibility even if the contractor says they take responsibility you need to have documentation to back this up.

Valid Working Visas

Written agreements with contractors also need to cover accountability for checking valid working visa status, insurance, correct payments to pickers and payment of superannuation. The VFF produce a contractor kit which may be useful to get started. (

The information below is taken from the Department of Immigration (VEVO) website regarding employer responsibility.

“It is the responsibility of all Australian businesses to employ legal workers.

Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents are all examples of legal workers and have unlimited permission to work in Australia. A single check confirming citizenship or permanent resident status at the time of employment is all that is required.

All Australian businesses should check that all non-citizen workers they use are allowed to work. This includes both paid and unpaid work. This is regardless of whether workers are sourced directly or via a contractor, labour hire or referral company. Checks should be conducted before the non-citizen commences work, before their visa expires and when the non-citizen's circumstances change.”

The links below lead to the VEVO registration service and also information regarding suitable clauses which can be inserted in contractor agreements.

Registration with VEVO may take a couple of days to come through. It is therefore imperative that growers register as soon as possible.

Recent media articles:

Contact FGVL for current wage rates or if unsure of employment obligations.